Oh to be an Ape!

Mother and baby gorilla at the National Zoo in...

I went to a 40th birthday bash celebration last night for the book “Our Bodies, Ourselves“. This book originated out of a pamphlet developed by a group of women in Boston and initially sold for 35 cents. It was a pamphlet designed as a college-level health education course to teach women about their bodies. The premise behind the project was that women want to learn, they want to be able to communicate with medical providers about best options and treatments, and they need to be able to challenge the medical world to improve care for women.

I’m not going to go into a discourse on the book other than saying it is useful to a broad audience of women because of the breadth of the subjects it covers. There are many things about it that are excellent and arguably, it offers objective and timely information. There are also things that I disagree with, but if I step back, the subjects are dealt with in a way that is free of judgment and reflective of the views of many people. I just happen to live counter-culture and not agree with all of them.

The birthday bash held at the Oberon club in Cambridge had a variety of acts from amazing hula-hoop acrobatics to professional tap dancing. Also featured were 3 different comedic acts that were refreshingly funny and my guess is, probably cleaned up specifically for this audience.

But by far my favorite was a young woman, Marcy Goldberg Sacks, who as a young mom has put a comedic twist on the joys and spit-up of motherhood. Marcy has 3 little girls under 5. She told the story of a recent trip with her girls to the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston about 40 to 45 minutes from the downtown area. As told, she was so excited to take her little ones on an outing to the zoo, particularly to see the gorilla. The gorilla had just given birth to a baby gorilla, her third birth. The similarities between Marcy and the gorilla were amazing – there was Marcy with her three girls, and the gorilla with her three girls. There was Marcy nursing her baby, and the gorilla? She was nursing her baby too! Visitors to the zoo (note – mostly moms with kids…) watched in awe as this big, hairy ape nursed said baby, with two little gorillas jumping around by her side, remarking how amazing this was, how awesome. Then a thought occurred to Marcy:  “This gorilla is big and hairy and…dirty! We’re all paying money to watch a hairy, dirty mom nurse her baby while her toddlers run around her feet and we think it’s “awesome” ….what is this about?! I want people to pay money to watch me nurse my baby with my toddlers running around my feet!”

And with that story comes the realization that life is not fair! How many of us as moms would love to have all our meals taken care of, our home provided, and to be paid for doing what we want to do anyway – care for our kids. Look at that ape, she has it made! She gets all the meals she needs, she has free medical care, and she gets paid to nurse her babies, and best of all – no one expects her to shower or keep clean….Oh to be an ape. It makes one question just how far we really have evolved….!

9 thoughts on “Oh to be an Ape!

  1. Kept thinking of this story, but Petra has already made the comment I was thinking of.
    We have not really evolved much for Gorillas or mums or any other species treasure their freedom.
    History shows us just how much we long to be free. I don’t think any perks would be worth it if one’s movements were restricted.


  2. Our Bodies Ourselves is 40 years old? oh! I am ancient.

    I was thinking we pay money to watch a gorilla nurse her child
    While there still are some places that would happily throw a nursing human mother in jail! Not only not fair- no justice.

    As always, you wake me smile and think. You are a good cousin.


  3. Very funny! And no one gets embarrassed seeing a gorilla nursing her baby in public! She doesn’t even have to cover up. And about those gorilla daddies – I don’t think they are helping much with bringing up the kids.


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